The evenings business concluded and I went to try and have an audience with Chancellor Hugo Radcliff. After I showed him the writ from the bank that I had for him, he was gracious enough to make time for me at the late hour. We briefly exchanged pleasantries before I handed him the guild charter. We were the Bronze Star Guild. He made a face when I told him of where I had made my guildhall but, stifled any comment. Within the hour, I had the signature that I needed and he was a hundred and fifty notes wealthier.
While I’d been making my political overtures, back at the guildhall, the members of the Bronze Star had taken my words quite literally. Joe quickly sprinted up to the attic and decided that that unfinished space was in fact his private quarters. Calvin, Fae and Byron took bunk upstairs in the second floor. There, they discovered the disarray that the house was in. It had to be, the purchase had gone through earlier that day.
Kane was drawn to the office. There, he found Mr. Eribus’ old writing desk. Without pausing to investigate the open drawers, he yanked hard upon the locked drawer, tearing it open. Within, he discovered A receipt from Company 37 for a security door and a hastily written report labeled Preliminary Findings. The report said that “The mice have become violent”, “Tristan (my favorite) has died” and “could the device be responsible?”
Calvin and Byron joined Kane in the office. There, Calvin discovered some strange diagrams. Joe, who had come down because of the commotion explained to the group that the diagram was some sort of Mana Engine but that pages were missing to fully grasp the machine. Byron stumbled upon an old picture of a little girl and and old man in front of a house. The house looked just like this one. On the back of the photo was the name “Stella Birch.”
Calvin, Byron and Kane went off to speak to their contacts and try to discern Hugo Eribus’ current whereabouts but, their leads went to a dead end. It seems that the last anyone saw him, he was in his home. It was already quite late in the evening so Kane returned to the manor for some rest. Calvin and Byron found out where Stella Birch lived and went there. Since it was quite late and they didn’t want to make any more of a scene than they had to, Calvin and Byron left a note for Miss Birch. “We wish to speak to you about Hugo Eribus. We know that he was working on a Mana Engine. We’re trying to ascertain his whereabouts” is what I would like to think that the letter said.
While this was going on, Joe decided that the first order of business was to get started on repairs to the Guildhall. To that end, he enlisted Fae to go to the local Labor Union, Company 37 to “borrow” materials. Joe picked the lock to the back door and together, they entered the warehouse portion of the site. They were merrily cutting wood and stacking it into a trundle cart when a Civil Defense guard meandered into the front of the office.
Joe told Fae to take the wood and the trundle cart and return to the manor while he dealt with the guard. Joe rushed out to meet the guard and quickly struck up a conversation, preventing him from actually looking back to the warehouse where Fae was struggling to get the cart full of wood home. Joe explained that he’d been sent by the Labor Union to work late and was merely doing as he was ordered. The unsuspecting guard and Joe spoke for some time and before leaving, the guard gave Joe a time sheet to fill out. After the close call, Joe returned home and eventually everyone settled in to sleep.
They had a lot of work ahead of them.